Saturday, July 5, 2008

Did I tell you I love calligraphy now?

I am still practicing my calligraphy. I hope Lisa Engelbrecht is proud of the inspiration she was to me in her class at the Artists Nook in Fort Collins! I never thought I could do calligraphy, and I still can't, but I am getting closer. I am going to try to make a fabric book similar to the one she did using every letter of the alphabet and having a quotation utilizing each letter, one on each page. This is page one! F is for feathers. Maybe I was forced to watch Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds" over and over again. Who knows? I am not totally satisfied with my first page, but it is okay. Hopefully by the time I get to the last page, my technique will better. It takes lots and lots of practice I am learning. And it takes quite a bit of warming up before you start, each and every time. Well I don't think Lisa does, but I have to. Thanks, Lisa!

Doing Art with Grandchildren, the BEST!

While I was visiting my granddaughter in California in May, we did "art". We took big pieces of paper and fingerpainted them. Then I cut them in the center to make a four page book, with the painted surfaces all showing ( ala Lynne Perrella). Then we decorated the pages with pictures from
magazines, pens, markers, and for my granddaughter, the stickers were the very best. She can sticker faster than anyone I ever saw. On a serious note, it was amazing how beautiful they turned out and how personal the "journaling" with the pictures and phrases from magazines ended up being. It seems what you "find" in life is what you need in life, as long as you are open to the interpretation. Do Art with children, it expands your heart.
This is another try at DJ's technique. I used stronger colors this time and liked it just as well. Although it is labeled a journal cover, I have yet to make it into a journal. I'll post that when I have a chance to complete it. It will be a fabric cover of some kind and have picked some lovely tulip calico for a base. I think I will get started on that soon! Summer seems to be a good time for me to work as I use my dining room as my studio and it looks out into my backyard with lots of good sun (southern exposure) to inspire me to work on my art. However, sometimes I just find myself watching the birds. I usually have a fox or two back there, but for some reason, haven't seen them for several weeks now. The skunks, I can do without, so am glad I haven't seen them. I'm okay with wild life in my back yard (in the middle of Denver) but don't care for the smelly ones!

Oops! I don't know how to work this thing

Well, I'll try to do this again. Somehow I lost the text for the DJ Pettit Journal Cover post. The photos show the front and back, but not the inside, which is just as fun. The journal was an engineering masterpiece. Quite challenging, with all the "frosting" of the surfaces with different grounds to have a great surface to work on. DJ has obviously experimented quite a bit with different surfaces for her beautiful paintings. I loved learning or trying to learn her style and the ease with which she creates her peaceful but complex paintings. A combination of techniques I will find useful in many other areas. I highly recommend anyone take one of DJ's and/or Traci's workshops whenever you might have the opportunity. They both seem to have the knack for making what looks complicated seem easy.

The journal cover, DJ's part of the workshop

DJ Pettitt and Traci Bautista Workshop

The first day we painted papers and fabric, covered the book covers with our painted papers and fabrics, added various papers along with our decorated papers into a book. I bound the book with waxed linen, then added the torn fabric strips, buttons, pompoms, etc to the binding to make a very fun binding! Traci is a fabulous instructor and really inspires you to try virtually anything to make art on paper on fabric, few, if any, traditional techniques. It is so amazing to see how they all turn out after everyone is finished. I used folded file folders as the "covers" for the signatures. I still need to sew up the sides to make them into pockets to add more ephemera to my book/journal.

Butterfly Pavillion

We took a trip to the Butterfly Pavillion during Hannah's visit. The butterflies were beautiful and fortunately a bit sluggish as I was able to catch some nice photos of some of them. Of course the brightest and most striking were camera shy. It was a very hot day and the pavillion is very humid, so all of us were sluggish! Hannah was brave enough to hold Rosie the tarantula. Her mother and I declined the invitation. Art in Nature, one might say.

I gave my 3 1/2 year old granddaughter, Hannah, a Cupcake Party in honor of her recent visit to Denver! As you can see, she loved decorating the cupcakes. I can also tell you, she loved eating them just as well, even maybe more than the fairy wings a dear friend brought for her. We all enjoyed the party, even the little boys!